Washington State vs. Idaho is a rivalry that only exists because the schools are eight miles apart (as a WSU alum, I will clarify: it’s a dark, twisty, two-lane highway that feels about three times longer than it actually is). Heading into Saturday night, the Cougars held a 70-16-3 advantage over the visiting Vandals, but the two schools hadn’t played each other since 2007. A lot of things have changed since then. Mike Leach is in the second year of a gargantuan resurrection task in Pullman, while Paul Petrino is attempting to get something (anything?) out of his hapless Vandals (117th in the nation in scoring defense, 108th in passing defense). Meanwhile, Leach’s Cougars lead the nation in passing defense.
TL;DR: it wasn’t going to a be a pretty sight at Martin Stadium.
Down 42-0 in the fourth quarter, Idaho managed to cobble together a drive against WSU’s third string defense. They were gifted 1st-and-goal at the Cougars’ 7-yard line thanks to a pass interference call, which meant they’d likely take four shots at the end zone. Leach wanted to preserve the shutout, so he sent his first string defense back in the game. As we like to say, that went over about as well as Styx at Texxas Jam ’83 (look it up, kiddies). Petrino was furious, and obviously said something about it in the postgame handshake, to which Leach responded with a very noticeable “Fuck You!”
Idaho may totally suck, and the jury’s still out on the Cougars, but if Leach vs. Petrino turns into the very, very poor man’s version of Harbaugh vs. Carroll, we’re all for it.